Social Network Links
Powered by Squarespace
Search the Riddleblog
"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

____________________________

Monday
Dec112017

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (December 11-17)

Sunday Morning, December 17:  We move into the Advent season focusing upon messianic prophecy.  Our text for this Sunday is Jeremiah 23:1-8 and the prophecy of a good shepherd placed over God's flock.  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  In our on-going study of the Heidelberg Catechism, we are considering the Lord's Prayer as a pattern for Christian prayer, focusing this week upon the petition, "Thy will be done" (Lord's Day 49, Q & A 124).   Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study:  Resumes in the New Year

The Academy is on hiatus until 2018.

For more information on Christ Reformed Church you can always find us here (Christ Reformed Church), or on Facebook (Christ Reformed on Facebook).

Sunday
Dec102017

"Should I not Pity Nineveh?" -- Jonah 4:1-11

Here's the audio of this morning's sermon on the Minor Prophets from the Book of Jonah (4) Click Here

Sunday
Dec102017

This Week's White Horse Inn

O Holy Night

How do the angelic announcements of Mary’s conception and of the birth of Christ relate to the Old Testament promises concerning the coming messiah, and what do they reveal about Christ’s forthcoming mission and work? On this program, the hosts are continuing their series on The Meaning of Christmas by taking a closer look at the Annunciation.

Click Here

Thursday
Dec072017

Apologetics in a Post Christian Age (Audio) -- Basic Cateogies (Part Six)

Here's the audio from Wednesday Night's Bible study: "Basic Categories -- The Basic Christian Truth Claim and Christ's Incarnation"  Click Here

Previous lectures in this series can be found here (scroll down): Apologetics in a Post Christian Age

Thursday
Dec072017

"Seal the Book" -- Daniel 12:1-13

The Twenty-First and Final in a Series of Sermons on the Book of Daniel

The prophet Daniel was given a vision of Judah’s future by a mysterious visitor–the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus.  In Daniel 11:2-35, Daniel’s visitor foretells in amazing detail how the people and the land of Judah will fare from the time the Jews began to return home after their captivity in Babylon ends in 538 BC, until the rise of a persecuting tyrant–Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the man who will desecrate the temple in Jerusalem in 167 BC.  After predicting the precise events associated with Antiochus IV’s rise to power, Daniel’s divine visitor begins to speak about the time of the end–moving from events in 167 BC to those which will occur in the distant future at the end of time.  Daniel learns that a figure much like Antiochus IV will arise and “do as he wills.  He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods.  He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done” (Daniel 11:36).  But Daniel’s vision is not yet over.  The divine visitor tells Daniel that human history will come to a final end on that day when all the dead are raised, and God will judge all the earth’s inhabitants according to what they have done–whether good or evil.  Some of those raised from the dead will live in everlasting righteousness, while others in everlasting shame and contempt.  But instead of giving him precise details–as he had done in verses 2-35–Daniel’s visitor tells now him, “the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end.”

With this sermon we wrap-up our series on the Book of Daniel.  We are in the concluding section of Daniel’s prophecy–chapters 10-12, which includes the third and final vision given to Daniel, a portion of which we considered in chapter 11:2-45.  We will consider the closing scene in this vision (verses 1-4 of chapter 12), before looking at epilogue to the book (vv. 5-13), where Daniel recounts his divine visitor conversing with two other beings (presumably angels), speaking about the time of the end, discussing how those things just revealed to Daniel must remain “sealed,” or closed off to Daniel and all of God’s people until the dawn of the messianic age.  

Those of us with New Testament hindsight know that the last book in the New Testament canon (the Book of Revelation) centers around the opening of a scroll–the same one which is ordered to be sealed in the concluding verses of Daniel.  The scroll’s contents are “revealed” (hence the name the Book of “Revelation” i.e., the “apocalypse”) by the Lamb (the Lord Jesus), who alone is worthy of doing so, and who, before his incarnation, revealed all of these things to Daniel in this third and final vision.  This is why the mysteries of which we will read must be sealed until the coming of Jesus, because many of the prophecies in the Book of Daniel (especially those dealing with the time of the end) make little sense until the coming of Jesus and the messianic age.

We will do two things.  First, we will consider the concluding portion of the vision of the end, which begins in verse 36 of chapter 11, and which continues into Daniel 12 (vv. 1-4).  Second, we will then look verses 5-13 which function as the epilogue to both the vision as well as the entire prophecy (i.e., the Book of Daniel).

In the first section of chapter 11 (vv. 2-35), the vision dealt with the future of Judah after the exiles began return home from Babylon.  This is the historical period known as “second temple Judaism.”  The Jews will be back in the land, not as an independent nation, but as a vassal state of first the Persians, and then the Greeks.  Judah will then be caught between two empires which will arise from the remains of the Greek empire of Alexander the Great which was divided into four smaller kingdoms–the two most prominent in Judah’s future are the Seleucids to the north and the Ptolemies to the south.  Daniel has been told how various kings from these empires will wage almost continual war upon each other, with Judah caught in the middle.  This portion of vision concludes with Daniel’s visitor foretelling of the most evil figure in the series of rulers, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who will seek to Hellenize the Jews, and turn the temple of YHWH into a temple dedicated to Zeus–thereby desecrating it and stopping all sacrifice for sin.  It will be a terrible time for Judah, and for the people of Jerusalem, but they will prevail.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
Dec042017

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (December 4-10)

Sunday Morning, December 10:  We wrap up our study of the Prophecy of Jonah (as part of our series on the Minor prophets).  We will be considering Jonah's anger that God brought about the repentance of the Ninevites (Jonah 4:1-11). Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  In our on-going study of the Heidelberg Catechism, we are discussing the Lord's Prayer as a pattern for all Christian prayer (Lord's Day 48, Q & A 123).  For what are we asking when we pray, "thy kingdom come"?  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study (December 6 @ 7:30 p.m.):  We are continuing our series, "Apologetics in a Post-Christian Age."  We are continuing our discussion of the nature of the Christian truth claim. 

The Academy is on hiatus until 2018.

For more information on Christ Reformed Church you can always find us here (Christ Reformed Church), or on Facebook (Christ Reformed on Facebook).

Sunday
Dec032017

"The People of Nineveh Believed God" -- Jonah 2:1-3:10

Here's the audio of this morning's sermon on the Minor Prophets from the Book of Jonah (3)  Click Here

Sunday
Dec032017

This Week's White Horse Inn

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

The famous Christmas hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” reminds us each year of the deep longing and hopeful expectation for the fulfillment of all the messianic promises revealed throughout the history of the Old Testament. This Emmanuel, or “God with us,” would come in the fullness of time to “ransom captive Israel.” On this program, the hosts will take a look at the theology of this classic hymn as they begin a new series on The Meaning of Christmas.

Click Here

Thursday
Nov302017

Apologetics in a Post Christian Age (Audio) -- Basic Cateogies (Part Five)

Here's the audio from Wednesday Night's Bible study: "Basic Categories -- The Basic Christian Truth Claim from 2 Corinthians 5:19"  Click Here

Previous lectures in this series can be found here (scroll down): Apologetics in a Post Christian Age

Thursday
Nov302017

"At the Time of the End" -- Daniel 11:36-45

The Twentieth in a Series of Sermons on the Book of Daniel

It was April 23rd, 536 BC.  The prophet Daniel was standing on the bank of the Tigris River when a mysterious visitor appeared to him and revealed that Daniel was about to receive the next in a series of visions which YHWH had given him throughout his time as an exile in Babylon.  The appearance of this mysterious visitor–the pre-incarnate Jesus–caused Daniel great fear.  The very presence of the holy visitor exposes Daniel’s sinfulness, causing him to fall on his face.  Reassured of God’s favor by the visitor, the vision now given Daniel will foretell the future of those Jewish exiles who had recently departed from Babylon, when Cyrus, the Persian king, released them in 538 BC to return to Judah, rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the temple of YHWH.  Jeremiah’s prophecy that Israel’s time of exile was limited to seventy years was now fulfilled.  But Daniel learns that although the time of exile is over and the Jews have returned to the promised land, the glory days for Israel are over.  Jerusalem and the temple will be rebuilt, but Judah will be trapped between two empires bent on waging war upon each other–the Seleucids (to the North) and the Ptolemies (to the south).  As the vision comes to an end, Daniel will be given a glimpse into the distant future, a time when a mighty blasphemer will arise, boasting about himself and making threats to the people of God (an Antichrist), who, at the time of the end, will be destroyed by YHWH’s kingdom which triumphs over all on the day of resurrection and final judgment.

The vision recounted in Daniel 11:2-35 is utterly remarkable in that Judah’s future is foretold hundreds of year in advance with an amazing level of accuracy and detail.  The vision reads like history written in advance, which is why critical scholars argue that this “vision” must have been written after the fact.  We will turn our attention to the details of the passage shortly, but we must not miss the forest for the trees as we proceed.  YHWH has ordained Israel’s future (seventy weeks have been decreed) and is directing all things to their appointed ends.  Israel’s time in exile has now come to an end.  The Jews have returned to Judah and begun to rebuild.  But their troubles are not over.

As for their immediate future, the Jews will again possess the land, rebuild Jerusalem, its walls, as well as the temple of YHWH.  But in the period which follows (so-called Second Temple Judaism), Judah will function as a vassal state, first of the Persians, and then the Greeks, before finding themselves caught in the middle of a prolonged struggle between two kingdoms (one to the north and one to the south).  Despite the troubles to come, YHWH is still fulfilling his purposes, which include the coming of a messianic age and the rise of a future Antichrist at the time of the end.  

Daniel’s divine visitor informs the prophet that these historical clashes and political intrigue are the visible manifestation of unseen combat between powerful spiritual forces–the angelic forces of YHWH (including the angels Gabriel and Michael) warring against demonic forces (called “princes”) which manipulate world empires to wage war upon and persecute the people of God.  Yet, YHWH will protect his people and his Messiah will come.  In fact, Daniel has learned that a coming Messiah will finish the transgression, put an end to sin, atone for iniquity, bring in everlasting righteousness, seal both vision and prophet, and anoint a most holy place, before the time decreed by YHWH is completed (9:24).

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here